IKEA has found inspiration from traditional Indonesian handicraft to protect rattan outdoor furniture against humidity and temperature changes.
Swedish Product Designer and Engineer at IKEA, Linn Grahl, is behind the new line by the name TVARÖ.
Inspired by her current location in Vietnam, Linn has designed outdoor rattan furniture’s that are weather-resistant.
Rattan furniture has long been used, but when it comes to outdoor usage, the traditional rattan material has faced challenges, including mold, stains, cracks, and weathering.
Linn and her team got inspired by a traditional Indonesian handicraft method, where the rattan for the bindings is dipped in a mud bath. This creates a protective layer that makes the rattan weather resistant.
“You simply put the rattan used to bind the furniture into a pool with muddy river water. Then you add leaves to the water, weigh everything down with rocks, and let it sit there for six weeks. The mud creates a protective layer that makes the rattan weather-resistant,” Linn explains.
To test the quality of the rattan material, the IKEA team has conducted over 100 tests throughout three years. The tests includes climate chamber tests, rain tests, and real-world tests in different regions worldwide.